Internal email urged Toyota to 'come clean'
Published 09/04/2010 | 05:00
TOYOTA'S attempt to rebound from a worldwide recall crisis took a double hit yesterday as Chinese regulators opened an inquiry into uncertified car parts and an internal email begging management to "come clean" came to light.
Inspectors in Zhejiang province are understood to have searched two Toyota spare-part storage facilities and found what they said were more than 1,700 components that had not received the official certification for sale.
Toyota may be subject to fines or temporary restrictions on its activities if the allegations turn out to be true.
The emergence of an internal memo yesterday, sent from one senior American Toyota executive to his Japanese superiors, said: "The time to hide on this one is over."
The email continued: "We need to come clean."
The emergence of the email comes after a decision by US safety regulators this week to impose on Toyota the maximum possible fine of $16.4m (€12.3m). Before the January email was sent, Toyota had acknowledged incidents in which accelerator pedals had become stuck.
The email is among 70,000 documents held by US officials investigating Toyota's handling of its accelerator problems. (© The Times, London)